Malawi government through the office of the Attorney General has filed to High Court to vacate the injunction which temporarily barred the government from implementing a 21-day lockdown to curb coronavirus following a petition by a human rights group.
One of the lawyers at the Attorney General’s chambers, Neverson Chisiza filed the application to discharge leave for judicial review and vacate the injunction so that the country can go into a and restrict its population’s movements.
Chisiza’s application relies heavily on a a sworn statement by Minister of Health Jappie Mhango that the lockdown measure was declared lawfully.
He also argues that the lockdown under a State of Disaster declared by President Peter Mutharika will not abrogate people’s rights like a State of Emergency.
Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda last Friday set aside the lockdown in response to a challenge by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), which argued that more consultation was needed to prevent harm to the poorest and most vulnerable of society.
In his sworn statement the Health minister Mhango, who chairs Malawi’s cabinet committee overseeing its response to the pandemic, has stated that government has put in place cushions for the people, mostly from the informal sector.
Government contends the lockdown is the way to save lives by minimising further spread of the coronavirus.
Malawi has so far confirmed just 23 cases, including three deaths, but President Peter Mutharika has warned that without locking down the country, the virus could kill around 50,000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :